Black Bear Carbon builds new plant at Chemelot

Circular economy

The Netherlands – Over a year ago, Black Bear Carbon seemed to be working with Port of Rotterdam to build a new plant that would recover carbon black from old tyres. The company has now settled on Chemelot.

In two identical production lines, Black Bear Carbon will process rubber granulate from rejected truck and car tyres at Chemelot via carbonization. This is a pyrolysis technique in which the rubber granulate is heated in rotary kilns without the addition of oxygen. At a temperature of 400 to 850 degrees Celsius, the rubber disintegrates into gaseous and oily products and a solid residual stream. During the pyrolysis process, which takes several hours, more and more gas is produced and less and less oil as the temperature increases.

The solid residual flow, carbon black, is suitable as a filler in rubber for tyres or, for example, as a pigment in paint. After treatment, the gas is suitable as a feedstock for a cogeneration plant. After treatment, the oil goes to three storage tanks of 145,000 litres each. Black Bear Carbon indicates that there are several possibilities for selling this oil, including blending into petrol or feeding it into a cracker.

Chemelot Ventures

The two production lines will each have a capacity of 2,300 kilograms of granulate per hour, and together they can process 40,000 tons of granulate per year. This will yield up to 18,000 tonnes of carbon black, about 6,000 tonnes of gas and 20,000 tonnes of oil per year.

Already in 2015, Chemelot Ventures invested in Black Bear Carbon. The company built a plant in Nederweert where five thousand tonnes of carbon black per year were recovered. After a major fire in the production hall, the company decided to build a new, more modern plant in Rotterdam. That plan has now been shelved. According to various sources, the nitrogen regulations caused a delay in applying for the necessary permits.
Carbon builds new plant at Chemelot.